Port Ellen 10th Release 31 Years Old 54.6% 1978
€ 2.750,00 (in Vat)
|Condition||In Original Container|
Serge Valentin (95)
Nose: oh this is restrained and elegant! Exactly the opposite of some exuberant peat monsters, this is very subtle, on old papers, almond milk, shellfish, old slightly musty spice mix, soot and quite a lot of cut apples. I think I’ll try to compare this one with the 22yo 1978 Rare Malts one day, I seem to remember that one was a true monster- exactly the opposite of this new 1978. With water: the beast still roars! Water woke up a tarry peatiness that, precisely, reminds me of the Rare Malt (that I used to call ‘the Pirelli whisky’ – nothing to do with the naked girls on the calendars).
Mouth (neat): ah yes, yes yes! More vibrant than the nose and ueber-lemony, superbly zingy, ‘chiselled’ and kippery. Greatest notes of olive oil and marzipan in the background. Gets then ashier and saltier at the same time. I don’t think we used to know how PE would behave after 30 years of age, I think we have the answer. With water: perfection made whisky. Please call the anti-maltoporn brigade.
Finish: very long. Superb salty aftertaste and a contrasting spice blast (carvi, pepper, cloves, bitter almonds).
Comments: wow. To think that we’ll have all these new old Port Ellens to try in the coming years! And if PE was the peaty Islayer that aged best? Shall we soon see the revenge of the old lady on her thundering neighbours? Imagine there’s probably much more old PE than old Ardbeg around…
Nose: exactly the kind of Port Ellen I like. Peat as a supporting act rather than a show stealer. Quite coastal and sooty, but in an elegant way. Subtle candied notes, a little honey, yellow apples… some vanilla… sweet almonds… Lovely wax as well. Now that I think about it, I adore waxy notes and they’re missing in too many Port Ellens but here it is! Bonus point. Faint medicinal notes as well. Traces of cured meat (cecina de León). Very complex and so smooth! Stunning. Mouth: again it doesn’t come rolling in. Starts sweetish and spicy before going to salty, kippery and herbal notes. Quite medicinal and ashy now, with sharp lemon. Perfect development, with a crescendo from rounder notes to sharper elements, as if the nose was meant to mislead us before showing its true character. Again wow. Finish: very long, ashy, with coal smoke, lemon and a bitter /
My first impression was to put this on the same height as my (so far) favourite Port Ellen 7th release. That one shows more emphasis on floral notes and vanilla, but both share a mix of feminine and masculine Port Ellen, if you know what I mean, and these are the most beautiful expressions in my opinion. After a direct comparison, the 10th release is wider and more complex, as well as a little more typically PE, so it deserves a higher score. We have a new favourite.